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Ken Borland

Proteas’ 1st women’s Test in 8 years versus team with widest experience of the format 0

Posted on August 08, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s women’s cricket team head into their first Test match in eight years – and just their 13th overall – in Taunton on Monday when they tackle the side with the widest experience of the format: England.

Monday’s historic encounter will be England’s third Test in just over a year and they have played 97 in all. Most of their team were involved in an Ashes Test against Australia in January.

The Proteas’ preparations for what is really a daunting step into the unknown have been rocked by the unavailability due to injury of leading fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (calf strain) and all-rounder Chloe Tryon (hip). The in-form Ayabonga Khaka will also not be playing because she declared herself unavailable for Test cricket before the start of the tour.

“We would love to have had those three seniors, with their experience and skillsets, but it’s not a big setback,” captain Sune Luus said on Sunday.

“We still have a very good team, the youngsters have shown they can step up in the recent series we’ve played and I have full confidence in them. The team is the future of South African cricket.

“It’s our first Test in eight years and we’re just going to enjoy it as much as we can. We’re picking up the red Dukes ball for the first time and we’re delighted to have the opportunity.

“Test cricket hasn’t always been the biggest thing for women’s cricket, but hopefully we can play more of them in the future,” Luus said.

Playing successful Test cricket will require a range of skills from a Proteas team that are very inexperienced in the long-form game.

“It’s all new for us in Test matches and we’re very excited,” Luus said. “We do not really know what Test cricket is about and how it goes, but it will be a good challenge for our skills.

“You need to concentrate for long periods and you’ve got to be on top of your game. We’ve worked on our game-plans and what is required at certain times.

“It’s going to be a work in progress, we’ll take it session-by-session, we’ll be learning all the time. It’s going to be a great introduction and opportunity.

“It’s a real honour to wear our Test caps for the first time. There are going to be a lot of Test debuts and it’s going to be a special day for us,” Luus said.

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